Parent Advisory Counsel Newsletter

Volume 1 Issue 2


To support students with special needs and their families to successfully navigate the support services offered by Knox County Schools and the surrounding community.

Next Steps Transition Conference

Our Students Lead the Way!

The conference began with former and current students as the Keynote Speakers as they shared their stories of success.

Savanna Stooksbury: Graduated from Gibbs High School and works at Food City as a cook and has the long term goal to be the Assistant to the Fresh Bar Manager.

Wesley Rice: Currently a senior at Carter High School and has worked at Menchie's for over two years (Featured in the "Breaking Ground" publication April 2017)

When asked about advice that they would give to other students when trying to get a job, Wesley shared that the most important thing was to "Ask". Savanna shared that the secret to her success was the love and support of her family, especially her Dad.

The conference also included vendors sharing information about various community supportive programs and breakout sessions were offered including assistance in financial planning, legal support, housing, transportation, and advocacy. One parent commented, " Just seeing all the resources available to help us was a huge relief!"

Fulton Grind Coffee

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Special Education teacher Catherine Venable and her students (Javian Steele-Philips and Jordan McClain) from Fulton High School expanded their experience in the coffee business by selling coffee at the Next Steps Transition Conference this past April. With offers ranging from the famous "Coach Hump" (Described as hot chocolate with a kick of coffee) to the "Skinny Bell" Vanilla latte with sugar free vanilla syrup, steamed milk, and coffee) the students were kept busy throughout the event.

The students were expected to assist customers, brew the coffee, and make appropriate change. It is a real business and gives the students the opportunity to practice skills and gain experience. Although serving at the conference was a very different experience from working at the school, it was a wonderful opportunity for the students to experience working in the community.

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What is Restorative Practice in Schools?

Restorative Discipline is a philosophy of system-wide practices that work to change the school culture rather than merely responding to student behavior. In this process, there is a shift in practice resulting in a culture that is inclusive, based on principles and processes that emphasize the importance of positive relationships as central to building community, and repairs/restores relationships when harm has occurred. Restorative Practices reflects the importance Knox County Schools places on relationships among students, teachers, administrators, and families. This approach provides students with opportunities to develop self-discipline and positive behaviors in a caring, supportive, and fair environment.
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Summer is Here . . . Now What?

Local Summer Programs and Activities

(Some activities are free and some have a cost. Please be advised that this is not considered to be an inclusive listing of all possible programs.)

Penny Performances (Free and inexpensive events for Knox County Students)

Summer Listing

Knox County Library

Coming soon! 2017 registration opens Saturday, May 20.

Summer Library Club is a fun way to help children maintain and improve reading skills through the summer break, but it's not just for kids! Read together as a family and receive an awesome rewards package or prize.

New in 2017 for Readers and Teens: Join the Passport Program to enrich your Summer Library Club experience. Visit the 19th century, travel to ancient Egypt, conduct a scientific experiment or ride a camel. You can experience up to 5 adventures in lieu of 5 hours of reading. Visit 10 locations and enter to win a drawing at Visit Knoxville(link is external) for a grand prize basket of goodies. Passport logs available May 20.

Smokey’s Reading program earn free tickets to the game.

Autism Site Knoxville: Summer events

Live Out Loud (LOL) Academy is the disABILITY Resource Center’s annual summer youth transition program for students with disabilities ages 16-24. This free program teaches students how to live, work and play in their community after graduation. Dates: June 27-July 20th (Every Tuesday and Thursday) Time: 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon at the disABILIY Resource Center. For more information contact: Katherine Moore: (865) 637-3666 or email:

Knoxville Challenger Sports

Art Program (Our Place Art Summer Camp)

East Knoxville Freedom School: 6-Week Summer Enrichment Program for rising 1st - 6th grades June 14th - July 26th 8:00 to 3:00 at Sarah Moore Green

Contact: Denise Dean, Project Director 865-333-0645

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Parent Advisory Council Openings

There are openings on the Parent Advisory Board. Members agree to attend monthly meetings, advocate for parental concerns, and volunteer to assist in specific initiatives. In an attempt to have all districts within Knox County to be represented, there is a need for Parents or Caregivers that have students in the following areas:

District 2

Bell Morris Elementary

Central High School

Christenberry Elementary

Fountain City Elementary

Fulton High

Gresham Middle

Inskip Elementary

Kelly Volunteer Academy

Richard Yoakly School

Shannondale Elementary

Sterchi Elementary

Whittle Springs Middle

District 3

Bearden High

Bearden Middle

Cedar Bluff Elementary

Cedar Bluff Middle

Ridgedale School

West Haven Elementary

District 7

Adrian Burnett Elementary

Brickey-McCloud Elementary

Copper Ridge Elementary

Halls Elementary

Halls High

Halls Middle

North Knox Vocational Center

Powell Elementary

Powell High

Powell Middle

District 8

Career Magnet Academy

Carter Elementary

Carter Middle

Carter High

Corryton Elementary

East Knox County Elementary

Gibbs Elementary

Gibbs High

Ritta Elementary

Sunnyview Primary

Helpful Links for Families:

Child Find

The Child Find Staff at Fort Sanders Educational Development Center evaluate children between the ages of 3 and 5 to determine eligibility and the need for special educational services.

Great Schools Partnership: Parents as Teachers

Our mission is to empower, support, and encourage parents as their child’s first and most influential teacher, in order that their children may have the optimal opportunity to succeed in school and life.

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

The mission of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development is to facilitate discoveries and best practices that make positive differences in the lives of persons with developmental disabilities and their families.

Tennessee Disability Pathfinder

Tennessee Disability Pathfinder (“Pathfinder”) provides free information, resources, support, and referrals to Tennesseans with disabilities and their families.